TRANSPORTATION Secretary Arthur Tugade met yesterday with Department of Transportation (DOTr) officials to map out continuing contingency measures for the country’s aviation sector under the ongoing enhanced quarantine being enforced in Luzon to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Before the meeting started Secretary Tugade reminded the officials to strictly observe the protocols set by the Department of Health against COVID-19 such as physical distancing, and the regular washing of hands and disinfection.
The meeting was attended by DOTr Undersecretary for Finance Garry de Guzman, Assistant Secretary for Procurement and Project Implementation Giovanni Lopez, Civil Aeronautics Board Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla, Assistant Secretary for Aviation Jaime Alberto Melo, CAAP Director General Capt. Jim Sydiongco, and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal.
Secretary Tugade and aviation sector officials mapped out plans and analysis to assure readiness of DOTr in the event airline operations stopped and airports closed.
“We need to be prepared for any possible scenario and to employ all possible countermeasures including what may appear to be drastic and extreme ones. But we, at the DOTr, remain committed to the government’s effort to protect our country and the health of its citizens against this deadly coronavirus,” said Secretary Tugade.
Secretary Tugade also instructed MIAA and CAAP to extend to airport concessionaires “rental holidays” for one month and a deferral of rental charges on the succeeding month to cover the enhanced community quarantine period, with further extensions if required, subject to regular monthly review.
According to Secretary Tugade, the “rental holiday” and the deferral of payment of rental charges for airport concessionaires are immediately executory.
He added that such moves are now needed to cushion the economic impact of COVID-19 on the country’s aviation industry and its stakeholders.